It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss sleeping with dogs and how not to cry at work.
I recently started seeing this guy whom I have so much in common with. I enjoy his company, his take on life, and his overall demeanor. It was pretty effortless to fall in love with him, but the only catch is that he has two dogs. I don’t hate dogs and his are actually very sweet and fun, but it bothers me is that my boyfriend has always let the dogs sleep in bed with him. They shed like crazy, take up so much space (which makes it difficult to move around comfortably at night), and jump all over the sheets after they get in from outside. I have brought it up to him a couple times that I do not like that they are in bed, but I felt I didn’t have a ton of right to say something… until now. We just found out I’m pregnant and in a few short months, we’ll have a new baby peanut to welcome. I told my boyfriend that it wouldn’t be good to have the sheets constantly covered in fur and that dogs aren’t people and don’t have a right to sleep with us. I even told him that I wouldn’t allow my cat in bed either. He just clammed up and got defensive. What do I do or say so that I am not fighting this hairy battle forever? — Fearful of Fur
Tell him he has a choice: He can sleep with you or he can sleep with the dogs, but he cannot sleep with both. If he chooses the latter, he can get himself a bed or an air mattress for him and his pets (you and your unborn baby get the comfort of the bed you have now!).
I want to leave my husband, but I am struggling so much with whether this is the right decision to make. We haven’t even been married one year, and we only knew each other for a few months before that. We were really happy in the beginning — great sex, closeness, we talked about a lot of things. My husband didn’t work when we got together — he had quit his job about a year before that. He started working again about a month after we got married. For the first four months of marriage, I paid for everything; he didn’t even have a car. I let him use my car when we got together. Since he started working, life has been difficult, with extra expenses and my husband can’t say no or go cheap if we were to go out to eat. As soon as he gets a buck, he has to spend it immediately. It’s very frustrating. He pouts and makes me feel bad if I say no on going out to eat or eating too expensively. We have bills to catch up on still. We haven’t had sex in two months, and were only averaging once a month for six months before that. He admitted to me finally about eight months ago that he is addicted to porn. But he said he was trying to get better. He’s been saying that for six months. He knows I’m thinking about leaving, and has asked me not to. I asked him if he even remembered when the last time was that we had sex. He couldn’t. I know this is not healthy for a relationship. I take care of everything at home. I do 95% of all household work and manage the budget and checkbook and our health insurance and his recently diagnosed diabetes. I’m not always the best at making right decisions and I don’t know what to do about my marriage. — In Too Deep
See a divorce attorney immediately. You might be able to get your marriage annulled. And then please get yourself to therapy and work on how to make better decisions in the future.
My boss makes me cry. He makes me cry because he’s nasty, his expectations are ridiculous, and he is overly critical. I don’t want to quit my job and I don’t want to take this issue up with HR, because despite the fact that he is well known both in my organisation and across the legal industry (surprise!) for being a huge jerk, he also pulls in the big bucks, so anything I say won’t make a difference and may even make my situation worse. I don’t even know why I cry, because I don’t think that I personally care what he thinks about me, but regardless of why I do get upset, I hate the sense of shame that I feel afterwards. What I would like to know is if you have any strategies that will help me manage my emotions so I can avoid tearing up in front of him? It’s silly, I know, but if I could get through a week without feeling emotionally overwhelmed, it would improve my quality of life so much. — Emotional Injuction
Take a kickboxing or regular boxing class three times a week and pretend the thing you’re punching is your boss. You will get out your aggression in a healthier way than crying at work and you’ll have a kick-ass bod to boot.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
ktfran March 2, 2012, 9:16 am
I LOVE the adivce for LW3. I’m going to need to remember this if I’m ever feeling overwhelmed and about to have a mini breakdown.
Jillie z March 2, 2012, 9:40 am
Me too, and trust me, it works!! After awful days at work and getting treated like crap by a former boss, I took it all out on kickboxing, and I felt amazing. It gave me a really good target to focus on, and my stress levels would go down while my endorphins went way up.
va-in-ny March 2, 2012, 11:52 am
In New York City, Crunch Gym had a free boxing class for anyone who brought in a picture of an ex on Valentine’s Day. I thought it was a good idea!
(apparently, they affixed the picture to the punching bag!)
britannia March 2, 2012, 2:46 pm
That sounds kinda unhealthy, to me. I’m not sure I would want to look so crazy in public.
MsMisery March 2, 2012, 3:03 pm
It’s NYC. No one and everyone is crazy.
britannia March 2, 2012, 3:09 pm
Lol… that’s a good point! I can’t imagine that sort of thing flying here in Southern AZ, but NYC seems to be a no-holds-barred kind of place.
TaraMonster March 2, 2012, 11:55 am
It works for me too. My boyfriend is a HUGE boxing fan and he boxes pretty regularly as well. If I have a bad day, he pulls the pads out and I wail on them for a while. It’s the best exercise ever and it gets out my pent up aggression.
silver_dragon_girl March 2, 2012, 9:31 am
Reeeeeeeeeeally curious why you married him in the first place, LW2.
Budj March 2, 2012, 9:40 am
LW 1 – I may be getting too technical here, but your bf needs to get on board with you on the no-dogs-in-the-bed rule. They don’t NEED to sleep there…they are used to it and think it’s ok. If he is projecting human persona on to the animals he is an idiot… Teach them the bed is off limits and to sleep on the floor…or get them a doggy bed with a nice blanket and teach them to sleep there. They will be happy with it once they understand that is the routine. If he ends up sleeping on the floor you will be kicking the dogs off of the bed the whole night beacuse it’s not HIM they want to sleep with…they think the bed is where they sleep.
LW 2 – Nothing you have explained here makes me think your husband is even capable of being a husband…
LW 3 – To play devil’s advocate….if you work in a competitive environment CHERISH the criticism. It is the only way you will get better…this guy you said is very successful and he is taking the time to critique you. Maybe he has a point? Maybe he just wants you to get better? Don’t take it so personally…the only way to get better is to be objective about yourself. On the other hand if he is completely in the wrong then do what Wendy said.
I busted into my job thinking I knew everything…I got smacked down a lot…and critiqued a lot… The criticism is tough at first, but these people have an outside opinion of you and most of the times the critiques are so that you can fix what you do wrong and get better not to make you cry and hate your job.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 10:02 am
I agree with you Budj about it not being him the dogs want to sleep with but sleeping on the bed. My dogs could care less whether or not I’m home when they get in bed. They just think (and I know it’s my fault! ;)) that the pillows and bed are theirs too. It’s not easy to train them it’s going to take time and hopefully if they do bring new beds in and use treats to reinforce them using the beds will be an easy transition.
Budj March 2, 2012, 10:20 am
haha – well the funny part is the dogs will be able to be trained off the bed…but you better believe AT LEAST once or twice they are going to come home and either hear a dog jumping off a bed or catch him snoozing there, red handed…they are sneaky things…
Jessibel March 2, 2012, 11:30 am
Aren’t they though?! Someone had given me a tiny stuffed toy that we didn’t want the dog to have because it was small enough to choke our dog, who LOVE stuffed animals. My fiance put it on a table and told our dog that it wasn’t for him. He waited until my fiance’s back was turned and took it right off the table!
My future mother-in-law’s dog is worse, because she steals food off of the table. My fiance had made a sandwich, put it down on the coffee table and then went to the bathroom to pee. The dog waited until my fiance was in the middle of what he was doing and she knew he couldn’t stop her, and grabbed the sandwich off the plate! They’re such opportunists!
Jessibel March 2, 2012, 11:33 am
And wow, typos all around. I cringe at the grammar from my post! That’s what I get for typing too fast!
Budj March 2, 2012, 11:40 am
If it is clear what you are trying to say typos are no biggie to me, haha…I’m a big culprit of that myself.
I used to get ticked off at dogs when they do that, but I had to remind myself that they are the dog…you are the human…be smarter in facilitating the rules.
rachel March 2, 2012, 1:20 pm
Seriously. My dog will do his best to get any piece of food he can possibly reach. If I leave the room and forget to put my plate up on a shelf where he can’t reach, it’s my own fault that my food is gone.
JK March 2, 2012, 11:35 am
One rainy night we were at a movie and we got a call from the alarm monitoring company that one of the sensors had gone off. They had even sent the police to check if everything was ok, since we hadnpt answered the phone.
When we got home there was a track of muddy pawprints through the dining room (which has a sliding door to the back yard), down the hall and into our bedroom, on the bed were 2 very sheepish looking dogs!
Kelly March 3, 2012, 12:31 pm
This is very true. My dogs are the opposite of yours though, they each have their own beds & blankets that they have been sleeping in all their lives. No matter how long they have been laying or napping in my bed while i watch TV or read, when its bedtime they jump off the bed (without me telling them) and go to their respective beds. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind them staying, but they won’t :). They also use their beds as “refuge”; for instance if we have people over (particularly kids) and they get tired of playing, they will leave the room where everyone is and go to their bed(s) haha
2_J March 2, 2012, 10:29 am
I have to say, although i agree with your reply to LW2 and 3, i resent that you call the guy, from lw1, an idiot. The LW never clarified if they got this place, with the animals, together, or if SHE moved in with HIM. I was in the same situation, almost, with the exception of my g/f being pregnant, she was not. My gf moved in with me, my dog, who is around 105lbs, although she is short haired, she does shed at times, and has slept in the bed with me since she was a puppy. Now, i don’t know the size of this persons bed, but mine is a king and the dog sleep on the opposite side of me and my g/f sleeps to my right, there isn’t really any issues there, but if i was given an ultimatum <—i spell that right?, in my place to kick my dog out of the bed because she wanted me to then there would be some issues. 1. You moved in with ME, my dog was here first and is used to sleeping where i sleep, period. ( if there was a allergy or if she was pregnant i wouldnt think twice and i would kick the dog out of the room or bed, no problem) Dogs sleeping in the bed may be off limits to YOU, but not everyone thinks like that, and just because someone does let their dog do so, doesnt mean they are "projecting human persona" onto their animals, and mainly, it does NOT make them an idiot. With her being pregnant i would say he is being was insensitive.
Budj March 2, 2012, 10:37 am
I have no patience for people that treat their animals like people (do not confuse that with humane treatment)…my preference…sorry if it offended you.
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 10:47 am
You have never owned a dog have you? Not including family dogs because those don’t count.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 10:50 am
my mom always called our dogs and cats growing up our brothers and sisters, so my conditioning for treating my pets like people started very young, haha 🙂
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 10:55 am
Haha I know I don’t get it. I mean yeah they are not technically children. Sometimes I cry just thinking about the day my dog will die and he’s not even 3. My dog teaches me more about unconditional love than any single person ever has. This is what he says every morning to me while wagging his tail, “I want to be your best-friend do you want to be my best-friend?” – “I want to hang out with you all day, do you want to hang out with me all day”. I mean dogs are amazing, and although I probably won’t ever have to deal with it, I can’t imagine some new guy coming into my life and making my dog sleep on the floor. In the LW’s case if it really is about the baby or allergies – well fine. But I would also probably never date anyone that was allergic to dogs.
GTR March 4, 2012, 9:42 pm
“Sometimes I cry just thinking about the day my dog will die and he’s not even 3.”
Um, sweetie? I hope you’re just indulging in a little hyperbole, because that’s insane. I mean literally. Have you been tested, or indeed treated, for clinical depression?
I don’t doubt that your dog loves you in his way… emphasis on “in his way”. It’s not love in the sense that we humans feel it. He gives you his full devoted attention because you are the alphawolf in his life. You complete him. So yes, your dog “loves” you… because he’s a pack animal from a species bred for centuries to suit human needs.
Your dog has unconditional love because he has no understanding of “conditions” – they require abilities with mental abstraction that animals simply don’t have. You, on the other hand, do understand conditions. If you were to experience the same unconditional love as your dog, you’d see no problem with staying with a man who beats you mercilessly, or who supports eugenics, or kills animals for pleasure. That’s pretty much the dictionary definition of unconditional love.
So enjoy, appreciate and care for your dog. But save the glorious, magnificent, metaphysical thing that is human love for your fellow human beings: the only creatures on this planet who can reciprocate in kind.
Addie Pray March 4, 2012, 9:49 pm
I think you’re taking Iwanna too literally. I mean, sure, she has her dog’s name tattooed on her inner thigh, but who doesn’t, right?
(I’m kidding about the tattoo, though we can’t know for sure either way until Iwanna posts a picture of her inner thighs.)
JK March 2, 2012, 11:55 am
My mum used to do voices for our pets.
The weird part is they were always so much funnier than my mum actually is!!!
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 12:24 pm
2 of my favorites things: the word mum and when people add a U to words like favourite and colour.
Addie Pray March 2, 2012, 12:27 pm
I also like hearing British people say “schedule” – they make it sound so much more important than any of my shhhedules. Well, let’s face it, I like hearing Britsh people say anything.
Do you think anyone out there likes hearing Americans talk?
JK March 2, 2012, 12:31 pm
Some US accents are better than others, but on the whole I´d have to say I prefer that to australian or NZ accents!!!
Of course my favourite english accents are scottish and irish. 🙂
WhataLaugh March 5, 2012, 7:13 am
Your favourite “english” accents aren’t English at all. They’re Scottish and Irish.
JK March 5, 2012, 7:28 am
@whatalaugh… I think it was quite understandable that I meant the favourite accents of people that speak english.
Addie Pray March 5, 2012, 9:43 am
Love me some Scottish. But I have such a hard time understanding them! My sisters and I hiked the Highland Way — an awesome 90 mile path through the prettiest land and cutest towns you’ll ever see. At the very start of our hike we met an old Scottish man who said in a super thick accent: “You’re not gonna make it.” Oddly, I understand HIM perfectly. (And we didn’t make it. Hiked about 45 miles in 1 week – but had lots of good drinks and met the coolest people.)
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 12:42 pm
I’ve often considered shipping both my SO and daughter over to England for a few months so they can be 100% perfect. All they are missing is the british accent. 😉
FireStar March 2, 2012, 11:25 am
I own two dogs that I love to death – but they are dogs. Squirrel chasing, mailman barking, guarding to the death dogs. And our dogs don’t even come into our bedroom (usually…though I have awaken to big brown eyes inches from mine patiently waiting for me to wake up on occasion…they are sneaky!) they sleep outside our bedroom door. And you can totally train – or retrain – your dog where to sleep or hang out. We briefly let our dogs up on the old sofa with us when we decided to get a new one…once the new sofa came they knew no jumping up on it. Now if someone could tell me how to stop them from destroying cushions like the cushion did them something in a previous life I’d love the advice.
applescruff March 2, 2012, 11:44 am
Please, please tell me how you trained your dogs not to get on the new sofa. When I was in grad school I had a crappy sofa from craigslist, and I didn’t care if my dog got on it. Now I’m a real person with a real job, and a nice sofa I bought new. My dog, though, doesn’t care she’s not supposed to go up there. The only times I catch her are when I come home from work early. She’ll be sitting on the sofa, and look at me like, “oh shit!” So please, share your wisdom!
FireStar March 2, 2012, 12:22 pm
You have trained her not to sit on the sofa – that’s why she looks guilty when she is caught! Our dogs were only allowed on the sofa by invitation – or they would ask by putting one paw on the sofa and looking at one of us for confirmation until we said “okay”. When the new sofa came no invitation were given and when they asked we would just tell them no and smoother them with love – on the ground. Eventually distracting them with fun lead them to stop asking. Dogs are great because they can adjust to a new normal really easily. If you are asking how to train that last little bit of deviousness out of them…sorry I got nutthin…except some dog cushions with a bite or two in them. I’m with Bagge – the completely obedient dogs aren’t as much fun as the ones that are a just a little wicked.
Kelly March 3, 2012, 12:51 pm
Every time they do it take away what they like the most, for instance my dogs love attention more than toys or anything..so when they do anything bad (which is rare) we put them outside or in a separate room. They just can’t be with us for about 30-45min. Also, before you do that put the destroyed cushion in their face and say “No”. We have also successfully used all natural “keep away” sprays. You can find it at PetSmart or Petco, and the one we used didn’t stain fabric or leave an odor, but it did keep the dogs away from whatever we sprayed. We actually did the perimeter of the dining room years ago and till this day they will come to the edge, but not step foot in (but that was in addition to training).
savannah March 2, 2012, 10:49 am
Agreed. Sleeping in dog hair day in and day out is absolutely disgusting. A woman comes into my office everyday covered in head to toe with cat hair all over her clothes and the worst part is that she probably doesn’t even notice it any more. Any chair she sits in has cat hair on it after. I have a dog, who I love. It’s not that hard. Lint brush people!
2_J March 2, 2012, 10:55 am
I am with you on this 100%….which is why changing bed sheets and blankets about once a week (along with the rest of the house being kept swept and clean) is a must. Taking the dog or cat to the groomers once or twice a month (depending on the severity) is a must as well. I hate spring time when my dog does actually shed a big deal…after coming home from the groomers she is good to go for a good while 🙂
Will.i.am March 5, 2012, 9:13 am
That’s been a dealbreaker for me. I absolutely hate when dogs sleep in the bed. A dog stinks and you get dog hair everywhere. When keeping an inside pet, you really need to clean about once a week.
I dated a girl that would let them sleep in the bed with her. Problem was, we would be having sex and the dog would be laying in the bed with us. Not something that I really wanted to do, and she was way too calm on disciplining her dogs.
It was such a turnoff since I felt they we the master’s and she was the pet.
2_J March 2, 2012, 10:51 am
You’re entitled to that opinion, however, i simply do not think letting a dog , cat, whatever, sleep in the bed with it’s owner means that their being treated like a human. The only thing that offended me, and the “if” makes no difference because IF he does treat his dog, as you say, like a human than you would call this person an idiot, is the brand name you give to people that treat their pets differently than you would like. BTW, i’m not trying to be all rude and start a dumb argument, i read and appreciated your responses, like i do with the rest, but that one little tid bit bothered me that’s all. Besides, if being treated like a human means putting food and water on the floor for them, walking them on a leash, petting them and talking to them…see where im going?
Budj March 2, 2012, 11:02 am
I do not equate people that let their dogs sleep in their beds as idiots…the IF statement is a huge qualifier…IF that is the reason he isnt’ kicking the dogs out THEN he is an idiot…
I have a huge soft spot for animals…just not so huge to let them sleep with me…and I recognize that that is a personal preference for everybody…but back to my main issue of the humanizing of pets… The number of pet owners on those “troubled pet” tv shows that baby their pets and that ends up being the source of the naughty behavior is where that pet peeve came from.
Budj March 2, 2012, 11:05 am
In case that first sentence isn’t clear because I reread it and can see it being confusing “If he humanizing his pets is the reason for being so defensive on kicking them out of the bed, then he is an idiot”
2_J March 2, 2012, 11:08 am
ok i gotcha on the pet tv thing…couldnt agree more
Budj March 2, 2012, 10:39 am
I also said “IF” in the sentence you have an issue with.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 10:50 am
If you really choose your dog sleeping in you bed over you GF, there is a big problem there. Yeah it was your bed before, but your GF gave up everything she had to move in with you, and was probably hoping that once she did things would be treated as both your things. So what happens when you get a new place together, do you get to make new rules, and then does she say that the dogs don’t get to sleep on the bed? I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here, but I know that it bothers me a lot that you don’t treat your apartment equally, and you would use a stupid argument like “You moved in with ME” to get what you wanted. I just moved in with my fiancee, and if she said that to me, then I would ask to get a new place we could both start over in, or tell her it isn’t going to work, and I need to get my own place until we are ready for something like that.
savannah March 2, 2012, 10:54 am
yes, the whole “You moved in with ME” frame of mind is juvenile and is setting yourself up for disaster if you really wanted the relationship to work.
Rangerchic March 2, 2012, 11:01 am
Well….may be she should approach him and talk to him instead of demanding the dogs sleep on the floor. I would get defensive as well if I was approached the way she did. She has 9 months to go, plenty of time to talk and start training the dogs to sleep elsewhere. It also sounds as if she is planning on the baby sleeping with them otherwise the bed being covered in fur might not be such an issue.
We have two dogs that sleep with us in our queen size bed so I get it. I have to change our sheets a lot more now because of it and my dogs don’t shed much either. But ya know that was our choice.
2_J March 2, 2012, 11:07 am
Well all i can say is that A. Were coming up on our 4 year anniversary, and the pet thing has never really been an issue. B. She moved out of her parents house and moved in with me, she didn’t give up anything but fights with family to do so. C. If you read my comment you will not see me state at all that i chose my dog to sleep in the bed over her, we all sleep in the same bed,my dog sleeps behind me i sleep behind my lady. So that is a moot point. I treat my g/f like gold, and i treat my pet/pets with love and respect but on a completely different level than i do towards her or any other human being. We are not moving anytime soon but if and when we do, we will both make the decisions, just like we do now where we’re. Again, this bed thing has never really came up unless of course you know, when it’s fun time…then it’s common sense to where the dog goes. Had she demanded, BEFORE moving in with me in the begining, although sleeping over constantly, that the dog sleep elsewhere, and didn’t have a good reason other than just the want…then i guess i’d be juvenile. Fortunately that’s not the case.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:15 am
You say you will both make decisions when you move, just like you do now. Your attitude says very differently. Like she has to behave and listen to your demands and its your way or the highway because you did her some huge favor of allowing her to live with you.
2_J March 2, 2012, 11:43 am
Where are you getting this? I am not a demanding person first off. I also don’t try to nor do i run my household with an iron fist, make demands and act like, hey it’s my place my rules type thing, or my way or the highway. Nothing ever works out if you act like that, i DO know that. I was making a point about trying to tell me where my pet can and cant sleep and if i was demanded to do something different and given an ultimatum. Wouldn’t you say that by giving an ultimatum like i stated previously, be “my way or the highway” towards me? I would think so…
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:55 am
Your girlfriend’s general comfort should be more important than that of your dog’s. So when you say if she ever told you not to have the dog in bed, that you would not be with her, you sound like a terrible boyfriend. I think some ultimatums are ok. Some.
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:10 pm
I’m going to have to disagree. There’s no way to sugar coat an ultimatum. They’re manipulative, abusive, and controlling and it’s not OK to treat another person that way. Forcing someone to change something about themselves they don’t want to change is wrong. Call me an idealist if you want but I don’t care.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 12:23 pm
Well its not really forcing someone to change. Its saying if you cannot change this thing that I find unacceptable, than it is a dealbreaker for me.
In most situations, I agree with you that they are wrong. But some are not, imo.
Brad March 2, 2012, 8:25 pm
Perhaps then we’re arguing semantics/definitions, but to me an ultimatum IS forcing someone to change themselves/their behavior to please someone else. It’s giving a position where it’s their way or the highway, which is emotionally abusive to me. What you describe in the post immediately above this one is not in my opinion an ultimatum.
To use a silly example to make it more clear what I’m getting at, say for you that you cannot live without pink towels and they have to be in your house—period. If you simply said to me that if I don’t buy pink towels then you’re breaking up with me, that would be an ultimatum. But if you said that you love pink towels so much that they have to be in your life and your partner has to be OK with them and then asked me if I was willing to buy pink towels so that our relationship could work, then I don’t think that would be an ultimatum.
It’s OK to have deal breakers and it’s OK to share them with someone you’re in a relationship with. Yes it’s a very thin line and I know not everyone will see a difference but the distinction to me is the manner in which the choice is presented. The first option is holding the relationship hostage and trying to use force and it feels very aggressive. The other way, like the one I suggested, doesn’t feel aggressive to me and it’s asking me to change rather than demanding it. They both might have the same outcome (relationship continuing or not continuing) but ultimatums are not the way to go.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 12:31 pm
Where is everyone getting, that the LW gave him this harsh ultimatum from? I don’t see where she said, The dogs have to go, or I go.
This is what she had to say, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.
“I have brought it up to him a couple times that I do not like that they are in bed”
” I told my boyfriend that it wouldn’t be good to have the sheets constantly covered in fur and that dogs aren’t people and don’t have a right to sleep with us. I even told him that I wouldn’t allow my cat in bed either. He just clammed up and got defensive.”
Brad March 2, 2012, 8:09 pm
I don’t think most people discussing ultimatums are saying the LW gave one, but instead responding to whoever it was that mentioned them first. I for one hope she doesn’t resort to such tactics. There are better ways to go about reaching the same goal.
savannah March 2, 2012, 12:45 pm
I disagree about the whole “manipulative, abusive, and controlling and it’s not OK to treat another person that way.” characterization for all ultimatums no mater what they are. Sometimes they are just clarifying priorities, perhaps not in the best way but if you are having a hard time convincing someone to take an issue you think is really important seriously they can help.
I had to do this with my ex, only once. I had just moved in and he didn’t want to pay (or me to pay) for another set of keys, they were electronic so they were a little expensive. He just thought that we could share them and meet up at the end of every work day, and that was a good solution. Beyond the extreme inconvenience of that ‘solution’ it really made me feel like I didn’t live there. After a month of frustration and wishy-washy promises to get me a key eventually I did give him an ultimatum. I said ‘we’re getting another set of keys this weekend or I’m moving out’. All of a sudden he realized that when I said I was upset about this, I really was upset about it and we went that weekend to get them. Could I have tried not to give him an ultimatum and hope he would get it eventually? yes. But sometimes you need to see things in black and white, once in a while.
Jiggs March 2, 2012, 4:18 pm
I agree. There are plenty of totally fair ultimatums, like “give me a key to this place or I’m out of here” or (on the far end of the spectrum) “seek treatment for your depression/drug use/alcoholism or I’m out of here.” If the first place someone goes in an argument is an ultimatum that’s a red flag, sure, but I would venture to say most people aren’t like that.
Jiggs March 2, 2012, 4:08 pm
I agree with Lets_Be_Honest. Ultimatums suck both to give and receive but “if this dog sleeps in the bed with us I am out of here” falls under “fair enough” for me. It’s one thing to blow up every little argument into DO THIS OR I WILL LEAVE YOU as a manipulation, it’s another thing to say you can’t live with some kinds of behaviour and the other person needs to consider whether they want to continue doing it or they want to be with you but stop doing it.
2_J March 2, 2012, 2:00 pm
no no, i said if i were given an ultimatum and the choice was either the dog gets moved or she wouldnt be with ME then i would chose my dog for the simple fact that she would leave if she didn’t get what she wanted….i never said that my dogs comfort is more important than hers and that i would just up and be like “oh well you dont like it? then leave” im not that guy
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 2:07 pm
It is the same thing. If she would leave because of the dog, and you would letter leave becuase of the dog, you are saying to her Oh well then leave.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 2:09 pm
Let her leave, not letter Doh!
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 11:23 am
Clearly you missed my point, I never said you did choose your dog over your GF, I said “IF” which you seem to overlook in peoples post. I was responding to your IF situation.
” if i was given an ultimatum <—i spell that right?, in my place to kick my dog out of the bed because she wanted me to then there would be some issues. 1. You moved in with ME, my dog was here first and is used to sleeping where i sleep, period."
This is all hypothetical, the problem I had was in your hypothetical situation you treating the stuff you had like it is just yours, not like it is yours, and hers.
You don't need to prove to me how awesome your relationship is, and how awesome you treat your GF, because 1. there is no way to prove that, and 2. I could really care less, because it really isn't my problem. I was just bothered by something you said in the situation YOU gave.
FireStar March 2, 2012, 11:31 am
Lindsay March 2, 2012, 10:54 am
Well, I doubt she just showed up at his door with suitcases. They must have made the decision to move in together, which means someone’s going to have to compromise. I’d say that having dogs in bed is one of those things that a lot of people aren’t cool with, and the fact that he’s “shutting down” and not actually speaking to her about it is an obnoxious thing to do.
sarolabelle March 2, 2012, 11:07 am
Seriously? I can’t believe you would pick your dog over your girlfriend if she gave you an ultimatum. I question your love for your girlfriend. You should want to make her as comfortable as possible no matter what.
2_J March 2, 2012, 11:15 am
You can question my love for my g/f until you’re tickled pink for all i care. What matters is that , she, does not, and neither do i. It would be one thing if i was giving all my attention to my dog, and treated her so much better than i do my g/f and things like that, that would be something to give me an ultimatum, or better yet a good slap in the face and foot to balls, about. If she were to give me an ultimatum, “the dog sleeps on the floor or out of the room, or else it’s over” then i wouldn’t want to be with that type of person to being with.
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:11 pm
And she should care about his feelings and comfort just as much as hers no matter what. The street goes both ways.
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:01 pm
I agree. I found that comment to be a little offensive/insulting too. Some people, myself included, develop a real close emotional bond with pets (sometimes even boardering on babying them), but that doesn’t make me or people like me an idiot. I just means we love our pets. Dogs are emotionally intelligent creatures and they’re quite capable of love and the internet is filled with endless tails (see what I did there?) of dogs saving their humans. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want pets in the bed that’s fine, but don’t be hating on those that do, it’s rude.
And the LW has no one to blame for this but herself. She should have asked him early on if pets sleeping in the bed was important to him or not because she wasn’t comfertable with it, and if it was/is a big deal for him then she should have broken up with him rather than trying to force him to change. Like 2_J said, the dog was there first and SHE chose to live with that up until now.
And unless it’s ungodly amounts of fur I’m not sure what she’s worried about. The baby will be exposed to it regardless of if the dog is on the bed or not. The fur, and potential allergens, are in the air circulating and will be breathed in by the baby regardless of where the dog sleeps. And babies sleep in cribs, not mommy & daddy’s bed execpt for special circumstances so how is this an issue in the first place anyway? Smells like an excuse to me.
“What do I do or say so that I am not fighting this hairy battle forever?” Apologize for yelling at him/causing a fight over something that you haven’t raised much of a fuss at until recently because this probably caught him off guard (I probably would have been a little defensive, confused, or resentful too seeing as you guys have been sleeping with the dog for a while now). And buy his dog a nice bed and put it beside your bed as a peace offering. Accept that the dog isn’t going to learn overnight to sleep in the other bed and let him know that you know this. Train the dog with treats to show it the bed is a good thing, but don’t try to force it to say in there long at first or the dog might start hating the bed and that will make the transition a lot harder. Also accept that this will be hard for your bf and will take a lot of time to adjust, so don’t give him any attitude about it when he or the dog slip up because there will be many times early on that the dog will get on the bed and it won’t occur to him to kick the dog off (unless you want to start fights and have him start resenting you).
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 12:36 pm
I don’t think Budj said anywhere that people are idiots for having a deep close relationship with their dogs. He basically said that people are idiots if they humanize their dog so much that they choose giving the dog luxuries over your SO’s comfort, and well being.
Budj March 2, 2012, 2:07 pm
Yes – this is what I meant…obviously I struck a nerve.
Budj March 2, 2012, 2:13 pm
Not to mention I’m a big dog guy…the little ones just seem pathetic to me…not in like an “I wouldn’t love them” way…but I just like a dog that can throw it’s weight around I guess and not run for it’s life every time you are walking near it for fear of being crushed. I like a dog that can actually tire me out when we are playing.
My brothers gf has a mini dachsund living with us…and it took me a while to warm up to it, but I mostly enjoy her now. She can be a bitch around new people (very insecure animal…a rescue from a puppy mill essentially), but she is fairly affectionate once you learn how to interact with her. Her history probably explains why it took so long for she and I to form a co-habitating relationship.
The fact that I like big and hairy dogs (malamute, bernese mountain dog, german shepherd) pretty much makes the bed a no go…no desire to fight for space with a 110-130 lbs mass of long shedding fur…
Budj March 2, 2012, 2:17 pm
oh yea…don’t ever record me talking to that dog…you have to talk in some high-pitched ball squeezing voice for her to think you are not mad at her…normal talking voice and she acts like you are scaring the poop out of her…it’s quite embarrassing, haha…
Brad March 2, 2012, 10:26 pm
Oh don’t get me started on puppy mills………fucking things should be illegal. Shame she had to come from one. 🙁
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 12:39 pm
I guess I’m just not a pet person, but I cannot understand why this request is such a big deal. Would you really give up your girlfriend if she said should could not live with a dog in your/her bed? That just seems crazy to me, and seems like a dog is more important than a human.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 12:48 pm
I love animals, and I don’t get it either. Especially the way these two put it. They are blaming the LW for this, and acting like their opinion means nothing. It also annoys me how they keep putting words in the LW’s mouth saying that she never brought this up before, blind sided him with it, and yelled at him about it, but it doesn’t say any of that in the letter. Pretty much people are mad at Budj, because they couldn’t understand what he wrote, and think he called all pet lovers idiots, so they are putting words in the LW’s mouth to try to prove their point, all while making themselves look like terrible boyfriends.
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 12:54 pm
I just don’t understand her thing with fur. I mean my dog sheds a little bit – not much – mostly when he’s nervous – and we wash the sheets once a week and it’s not a huge deal. I don’t leave the house covered in fur ever. But I agree fur everywhere is nasty – but isn’t that up to the people to clean however often their pet demands?
savannah March 2, 2012, 1:03 pm
The fur thing really depends on what kind of dog/cat you have. My friend has a long haired terrier and I gag when I see her sheets. And she changes them once a week. My sisters dog however, a pit bull, sleeps in my bed when they visit and you can’t tell he was ever there.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 1:08 pm
Oh definitely, but some dogs just shed more than others. One of my parents dogs is a lab, and she is the best dog ever, she is so friggin funny, and cute, but they don’t ever want a lab again, because the amount she sheds is absolutely rediculious, and it is almost impossible to keep up with in a large house, especially since my mother babysits my sister kids at least twice a week, and has two jobs so it’s just hard for them to keep up with that much cleaning up, all while having to take her out at least twice a day to play, or she gets depressed, and the vet said if she is depressed her life wont be as long. They would never want to get rid of her in a million years they just know when they get older, and retired they are going to want a more relaxed, dog that doesn’t take so much care, like the cocker spaniel they have.
Brad March 2, 2012, 8:06 pm
Bagge, you’re confusing comments I made to other comments and what I wrote about the letter writer together. I didn’t say that the LW gave an ultimatum. My comments regarding my dislike for ultimatums were triggered by someone else mentioning them, not because I think the LW gave one.
And your comment “…and yelled at him about it…,” reread her last few sentences. To me that sounds like they had a disagreement/fight to some extent. And when you compare that with her comment about how she brought up the issue at the beginning and let the matter drop until recently is why I think it probably caught the guy off guard. Some number of months weeks have gone by and the matter is up again. And if the guy was shutting down after the most recent episode then I don’t think she was being a dainty choir girl during the discussion. Sounds to me (meaning I’m extrapolating/reading between the lines) like either it got heated or he felt like he was being spoken down to.
And as for Budj’s comment, my comment was posted before he made any clarification posts, so it was directly solely at his original comment, which he himself admitted might not have been worded so great.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 12:56 pm
i’m going to guess that maybe the LW’s bf has an issue with this because of more than just having a pet in the bed. i’ll be the first to admit my first reaction to being asked to keep my dogs out of the bed would be a little sad. i love my dogs and love cuddling with them. so i wouldn’t be surprised if my initial reaction wasn’t terrific. however, i think after my initial reaction i would be fine. and i agree with bagge that people are taking his comment the wrong way. no one is saying to put the dog out or take him to a shelter. just to find alternative bedding.
Flake March 2, 2012, 1:51 pm
I love dogs. The last one I had was an Italian Greyhound. One of the reasons I got it was the fact that they have very short fur, and I figured, after a German Sheppard, everything finally won’t be covered in white dog hairs. Boy was I wrong. The short hard hairs got into everything and everywhere.
And when it comes to newborn baby, I do everything to minimize his exposure to harmful things, and that includes avoiding breathing in pet hair as much as possible.
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 9:54 am
Call me old fashioned, but I’ll never, ever understand why anyone gets married after only a few months of knowing someone. LW#2 – Please leave him. And PLEASE, next time you’re in a relationship, wait for this stuff to come out of the woodwork BEFORE marrying someone. With enough time, it always, always does.
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:13 pm
I don’t think you’re old fashioned. I have a hard time picturing myself getting married until I’ve been with a person for at least 2 years first.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 9:58 am
LW1 maybe you could make this situation in to something fun for you guys and the dogs. Go to the pet store and buy them new beds and some new toys they can only play with on those beds.
LW2 maybe I’m reading it differently than you intended but do yo manage your husband’s diabetes? Really? My husband is diabetic too and while I support him in his management he’s definitely the one doing the managing. I would go back and ready all of Wendy’s notes on what to talk about before marriage and the next time you think about getting serious with someone, actually talk about those things. For now I would like Wendy said divorce him and start taking care of yourself.
LW3 I cry when I get really angry/frustrated too. I love the idea of kickboxing and I think another thing to do is when you know you’re going to interact with him give yourself a pep talk before. Tell yourself you only have to make it through the interaction with him and then you’ll go to the bathroom and let yourself tear up if you need to. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you’ll have enough other outlets for your anger that you’ll be able to make it without those trips to the bathroom.
Monica M March 2, 2012, 10:09 am
Regarding LW1. You recently started seeing this guy and now you are pregnant? I think the dogs are the least of your worry. Regarding the dogs I am afraid the bed isn’t the only issue you will have. I hope this baby versus dogs situation doesn’t get worse. Once the baby comes are you going to ask your boyfriend to now put the dogs outside? This seems to be a big relationship difference.
JK March 2, 2012, 10:15 am
Totally agree.Birth control exists for a reason, people! And “baby peanut”?
ANd for the love of Jebus, LW1, please get the dogs out of the bed now, before they put together that baby=getting kicked out of the bed, the last thing you wantis them harbouring a grudge against your baby.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 10:27 am
it would be terrible to wait. bringing a baby in to the house can be a big change for dogs. it’s a good idea to try and make them feel as much a part of it as possible! and waiting to kick them out would make that transition even worse…
JK March 2, 2012, 10:35 am
Exactly. A dog we had was given to my husband from a friend of a friend, who, when he was single had the dog sleeping on the bed with him (an argentinian mastiff), when his GF moved in with him, she made him get off the bed. And when the baby came along, they kicked him outside. Luckily the only way the dog manifested his jealousy was pulling the baby clothes off the clothesline. Then they got rid of him completely, giving him to my husband.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 10:42 am
i’m glad the dog ended up with a good home but stories like that always make me so sad. the poor dog just needed some help transitioning. i know not all dogs (or cats, we ended up with a cat as a kid who tried to smother his family’s baby…) mesh well with kids, but at least give them a good start by helping them understand what’s going on. kudos to your husband for giving him a home!
JK March 2, 2012, 10:58 am
Yeah, I know the poor thing ended up with some issues after all that. But he was such a beautiful dog! Unfortunately we had to put him to sleep in may 2010 because of a stomach torsion.
FireStar March 2, 2012, 11:41 am
🙁 I’m sorry but at least he got to live out his last years somewhere where he was treated well.
kerrycontrary March 2, 2012, 10:53 am
ugh this makes me really mad too. People don’t consider that you get a dog for the length of their lives, and you need to think about how your life is going to transition during that time period (including moving/bring a baby into the house). There are things you can do to help a dog transition, including not totally ignoring them once the baby comes along.
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 11:19 am
I could not agree more. Don’t get a dog unless you plan on being with it for the long haul.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 10:22 am
Yeah definitely get things straight LW1 before you turn into LW2!
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 10:32 am
I was trying not to say it, but I’m glad you did!
ktfran March 2, 2012, 10:42 am
Lol. That was funny. Well played.
This is one thing I’m confused about in regard to LW1. Do you currently live with this guy? At first, it didn’t sound like it. But then the whole baby thing came up. So I’m assuming that yes, you’re living with him. Or you plan to once the baby comes?!? From this letter, it sounds like you and your boyfriend need to have a lot of frank discussions before settling down together.
Nadine March 2, 2012, 11:07 am
I understand what are saying here, but that wasn’t what she was consulting Wendy about. Our judgements on other parts of her life, that she has only offered for background, are unkind.
Monica M March 2, 2012, 1:09 pm
I’m sorry but I don’t think this is a simple question about dogs. If you want to just stick to “how do I get my boyfriends dogs out of the bed.’ Then the simple answer would be get a different boyfriend. Some people are animal people and some people are not animal people. There is a lot of judgement being leveled here at animal people, for example the responses to 2_J. I think the dog issue is an overall relationship issue. I would not be surprised if her distaste for the dogs in the bed translated into now the dogs have to be outside dogs. Or now that I’m pregnant you need to get rid of the dogs. To me, no matter about her denials to the contrary, she is not an dog person. This part really spoke to me “I felt I didn’t have a ton of right to say something… until now. We just found out I’m pregnant…” I just don’t think the bed is going to the end of the issue. I understand some people feel that a significant other should choose them over a pet. That ain’t me and I won’t be in relationship with someone who feels that way. I would try to figure out how to compromise if they had an issue with my cat but I’m not going to throw my cat outside or get rid of him. He is an important part of who I am. Anyway sorry to be so opinionated on this and maybe solving the bed issue will be end of the problem, but I have doubts on that.
savannah March 2, 2012, 1:16 pm
“I would not be surprised if her distaste for the dogs in the bed translated into now the dogs have to be outside dogs. Or now that I’m pregnant you need to get rid of the dogs.”-I think you’re really projecting here and bring a lot to the table that isn’t in the letter at all. These are her concrete reason she doesn’t want them in the bed “They shed like crazy, take up so much space (which makes it difficult to move around comfortably at night), and jump all over the sheets after they get in from outside.” But no where does it say she wants them to be outside dogs, or ever get rid of them. In fact she says that they are ‘actually very sweet and fun’. Adjustments can be made with concern to the dogs reasonably without her having to be a anti-animal person.
Monica M March 2, 2012, 1:28 pm
I hope you are right. I hope the issue ends with the bed. But I hear in her letter that now that she is pregnant she can make demands that she didn’t do before. I also wonder if the dogs have met her cat yet?
Flake March 2, 2012, 1:57 pm
“I felt I didn’t have a ton of right to say something… until now. We just found out I’m pregnant…”
Yes, that is what happens when you get pregnant. You start seeing things from an entirely different perspective.
CG March 2, 2012, 2:13 pm
ITA that just getting them off the bed won’t be the end of the issue. That’s totally the vibe I got from her letter. And in my experience, when people throw down an “it’s me or the dog” ultimatum … you should choose the dog. 🙂
Taylor March 2, 2012, 10:13 am
LW3 – crying is a defense mechanism, part of the flight or fight part of the brain. I found out a trick that helps for me – I do math in my head. I learned (in an HR class of all places) that if you make your brain think analytically about something, it diverts blood flow from the “fight or flight” place to the higher order thinking parts of your head. So, think of something in advance that makes the gears go in your head, and the next time you feel some crying coming on, try to go there. It took some practice for me, but it helps.
silver_dragon_girl March 2, 2012, 11:23 am
Totally trying this, thanks!
Anon March 2, 2012, 10:23 am
I’m in the same situation as LW3. I LOVE my job, the actual work that I perform, but my boss is the most abrasive person I have ever known. He snaps at me, talks down to me, belittles my opinions, shoots down every request I have, etc. He really should not be allowed in contact with people most days. The reason I haven’t left is because I really do genuinely enjoy what I do. That doesn’t make up for my boss’s behavior by any means, but it at least keeps me from feeling that hopelessness of waking up and dreading the day to come.
It’s SO incredibly hard to balance my feelings about my job. I don’t wake up and think “ugh, I have to go THERE again…” but I can be having a perfectly fine day, and one snap from him and I’m miserable, crying, can’t wait to get home to look for a new job. It’s not a great situation to be in, emotionally.
I hate crying in front of people, but I’m an anger/stress crier. When I get emotional, people don’t know how to handle it because they think I’m sad or just hyper sensitive. But my reaction to fury or intense stress is to just cry. I wish I could change it. To deal, I take kickboxing. It doesn’t make it any easier when the boss snaps at me, but when I can picture his face in my bi-weekly class, it helps make me feel normal.
Also, I’m constantly reminding myself that despite how he treats me, my job is not at risk. It seems like LW3 is in the same boat. It helps to tell yourself “yes, he sucks, but at least I have a job.” Not everyone can say that. You always have the power to find something else if it gets to be too much.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 10:26 am
LW1 I absolutely love dogs myself, but there just isn’t much room in beds these days, if he doesn’t want to get them out of the bed, you need to go behind his back and start training them yourself to not sleep there. Go buy them some beds without telling him, and see what happens. Also remember to still wait to see how this relationship goes, before you get married or anything like that. It takes time to really find out what somebody is really like.
LW2 Face palm -What Wendy said.
LW3 I agree that you should take your frustration out on kick boxing or something aggressive, but I still don’t understand why you can’t go to HR, or at least send them an anonymous note or something. If this guy truly is treating you that bad, you don’t need to stand for it.
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 10:51 am
I bought my dog a dog bed – not really because I didn’t like him sleeping with us but I just thought he might like to have a couple different napping options during the day. My dog is the laziest dog ever. If I take him on a two mile run he is spent. For like two days. Anyway so I get him this sweet dog bed and come home later that day and he chewed it up. He never chews anything up. He’s like 35 pounds. I was like fine, point proven. I will never insult you again.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 11:07 am
Haha I love when dogs act out like that! There is nothing better than a dog with a personality, I want a dog that will listen to me 99% of the time, but have a mind of it’s own so I have some good stories to tell, and something to laugh at! Honestly, I’m one of those people who love having a dog sleep in my bed, but I also know that my fiancee isn’t one of those people, and I’m perfectly happy having my dog sleep some where else if it makes her more comfortable, and the dog is probably going to still love us the same. Now I’m just waiting to get married so we can get a house, and a dog!
JK March 2, 2012, 11:12 am
Our dog (the one I posted anout on this thread) really loved me, until I moved in with my husband! He promptly chewed through the heels of several pairs of shoes (something he had never done before, or did again), and he even pushed me off the bed once!!!
Jessibel March 2, 2012, 11:46 am
My fiance taught our dog how to headbutt while they play together (oy!) So there’s a lot of headbutting when they’re on the floor goofing off together. The dog’s only about 35-40 pounds and has a tiny head, so it doesn’t hurt or anything, but that’s now how he plays with you. Whenever you get on the floor for anything, be it cleaning or picking something up or whathaveyou, he comes over and headbutts you. I was exercising and doing a plank one day, and the dog came up to me and headbutted me, knocking me over. He has such a personality, he cracks me up!
JK March 2, 2012, 11:50 am
ONce I got in a big debate with one of my psychology professors (and have my classmates), because she said that animals don´t have personalities! I remember getting so pissed off!
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 12:59 pm
haha she should come meet my dogs. they have more personality than a lot of people i know!
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:19 pm
HAHA! I trained my parents dog to do that too. Sometimes she’d litterally just crash into (not very hard) you when bringing a toy. Was a little shitzu so it didn’t hurt or anything, but it was pretty cute. I always said she just needed new breaks.
Eljay March 2, 2012, 1:36 pm
Ok, I really need to take a break. I totally read your first line as “I trained my parents to do that too.” I read it three times before I realized there was the word “dog” in that sentence! I was like, why is he training his parents? It’s Friday. It’s Beer-Thirty. Let’s drink!
Brad March 2, 2012, 8:32 pm
yes I forgot to add the apostrophe in parent’s, please forgive me.
Rangerchic March 2, 2012, 2:43 pm
Sooo funny….love it!
Rangerchic March 2, 2012, 2:44 pm
That was supposed to be in response to Jessibel 🙂
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:17 am
“I’m one of those people who love having a dog sleep in my bed, but I also know that my fiancee isn’t one of those people, and I’m perfectly happy having my dog sleep some where else if it makes her more comfortable,”
what a concept. I love you Bagge.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 2:19 pm
Um I haven’t known you that long, don’t you think it is a little soon for I love you’s? AMIRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elephant Juice you too Lets_be_honets, Elephant Juice you too.
FireStar March 2, 2012, 11:49 am
You are welcome to visit with my dogs if you like the mostly obedient but slightly devious type of dogs. We used to keep them downstairs and put up a baby gate – until they figured out how to open the baby gate. I’m convinced when I have kids they will recruit the puppies into shenanigans…or vice versa…either way we are screwed.
britannia March 2, 2012, 2:55 pm
You have to prioritize your SO over your pets as long as your pets aren’t being harmed. Sleeping in a kennel or on a pet bed isn’t doing them any harm! When my SO and I got to “that level” where he’s sleeping over, I simply crate-trained my dog. Yes he whined for 3 nights, but that’s what ear plugs are for! Now he voluntarily sleeps and hangs out in there.
jlyfsh March 2, 2012, 11:19 am
my dogs did the same thing. and their beds were not cheap. i guess i wouldn’t have been too impressed with that option either if before i was sleeping on a pillow top king mattress 😉
LW3 March 2, 2012, 10:30 pm
I actually did go to HR recently, and while they were sympathetic, they essentially said “he’s better than he used to be..so…”. I also spoke to one of my other supervisors who has worked with him for 20 years (essentially developed her career with him), and she said that when she first started she cried every day – so at least I know I’m not completely overreacting. (Although I do agree with Budj above about criticism being useful, I don’t think that the kind that I was receiving was in that vein..).
Anyway, I took up Wendy’s advice and started tae kwon do training again, which I love and get a total high from. I also interviewed for a new job this week and they offered it to me on the spot! Now I feel in control of the situation and I know that I have options.
bagge72 March 5, 2012, 9:46 am
That’s awesome, good look with the new job, and Tae Kwon Do, is an awesome martial art, you will be kicking people in the head in no time!
Brad March 2, 2012, 10:31 pm
“you need to go behind his back…” that is such bad advice. Going behind your partner’s back is so not cool and it will cause fights/resentment down the road; this I’ve seen first hand. I sincerely hope the LW doesn’t do this.
Caris March 2, 2012, 10:38 am
LW1: I am confused. You RECENTLY started dating this guy and you are pregnant? And you are worried about his dogs sleeping on his bed? That is probably the least of your worries… You are about to have a baby with someone you barely know and whom you can’t even agree on who gets to sleep on the bed, you or the dogs. I suggest you read what happened to LW2 after she married a guy she barely knew for a few months… and she doesn’t even have a baby involved in the middle.
Why do people get pregnant and get married with people they barely know ?! *sigh*
Lindsay March 2, 2012, 10:58 am
I agree. And I think his response to the dog issue is a red flag, one, because there’s going to be a lot of compromise and inconvenience coming up in his life, and if he can’t handle it, that’s a problem. Two, I may be making a huge stretch here, but I wonder if his not wanting to talk about or deal with the dog issue may have something to do with him having trouble processing what I assume was an unplanned pregnancy.
Caris March 2, 2012, 11:22 am
I had the same thought
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 10:41 am
Alright, I’ve got to ask, at the risk of getting flamed — What’s going on with people having babies with people they don’t know that well??
I get that unplanned pregnancies can and do happen, all of the time. But seriously, NOT getting pregnant is easy. I’ve pretty much consistently used two forms of birth control, because I’ve been too afraid to ever just rely on one (if one fails, at least I have a built-in backup!). If you don’t want to get pregnant accidentally, it doesn’t have to happen.
I don’t take issue with people having babies who aren’t married. I don’t think that needs to be a requirement to bring a child into the world. But what I DO think is necessary is for two people to know each other EXTREMELY well; for them to have a solid, healthy relationship; and for them to be skilled at communicating. Raising a child is HARD. You need that solid foundation in a relationship if you intend to parent together.
Which is why having a child with someone you’ve only “recently met” scares the shit out of me. You can’t know them extremely well yet; you can’t have been through trials and tribulations together to solidify and “vet” your strength as a couple; you likely haven’t discussed big issues like…well, like kids…and like finances, and how to solve relationship issues should they arise (read: not being able to communicate well regarding a fairly mundane dog-bed situation).
Call me cynical. Call me pessimistic. Call me an idealist. Whatever. But I can’t hope but feel that LW#1 may, as Bagge said, find herself in a LW#2 situation at some point…only she’ll have added another human to the mix.
ktfran March 2, 2012, 10:46 am
I’m glad you said it, because I was thinking it and didn’t want to get bashed.
I agree with everything RR wrote, and she stated it very well. And what’s up with all the celebs doing it? Craziness.
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 10:49 am
With the celebs, I think it’s because they “can.” They don’t have the same logistical difficulties to work out that normal people in a boyfriend-girlfriend situation would…money, inflexible jobs, etc. Celebs have plenty of money and can hire any number of people to assist them in actually raising their child…but being a celeb doesn’t prevent the emotional ill-preparedness of having a kid with someone you don’t know that well.
JK March 2, 2012, 10:48 am
Thank you RR.
I agree completely.
I think lots of times people don´t realize how much hard work having a baby actually is, how demanding of you (and on the couple!!!). Like Ipve said before, my husband and I were together for 5 something years (living together for 4) when we decided to have a baby. And after she was born it was probably the most difficult period we´ve been through as a couple. And we knew each other well, loved each other, were stable financially, etc.
Having a baby is really not a walk in the park, not something to do “because everyone else has one”.
And like you say, if you´re not ready for a baby, double up on protection!!!
Firegirl32 March 2, 2012, 10:53 am
I agree. 100%. I kinda worry about people these days. I’d like to blame MTV. But that’s because I’m old…35. I’ve always said, there are plenty of ways to NOT get pregnant. Ugh.
kerrycontrary March 2, 2012, 10:57 am
I totally agree with RR that its not hard to avoid getting pregnant, but there are certain demographics or subcultures in America that don’t agree with birth control or the men refuse to use it. Plus not everyone is educated about birth control based on the school where they went or parenting factors. Teen moms are more likely to have daughters who have unplanned pregnancies, etc….The issue of not getting pregnant has a lot of gray areas.
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:22 pm
“or the men refuse to use it.” Well the solution to that is quite simple, keep your legs shut. No condom, no sex. Simple.as.that.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 10:58 am
I don’t disagree with you at all, however, I’d highly doubt that the majority of the people in such a postion said “well this should be a walk in the park, let’s set out to take our chances, get knocked up and life will be all butterflies.” Like you said, unplanned pregnancies happen. You slip up, you aren’t thinking of consequences, etc. and there you are, pregnant. I don’t think that people in those positions underestimate the shit they got themselves into.
I can be fairly judgmental. I shake my head when I hear stories like this, but then I remember I was there once. I was dumb, made a mistake, and made the best of it. I’d just rather hear some support for these girls than saying what an idiot they are. They probably already know that.
Iwannatalktosampson March 2, 2012, 11:01 am
Well I think considering how great a mom you are now you weren’t an idiot to make the decision you did. My problem is I really *don’t* think most girls in that position know they’re idiots. I have seen some girls so naive to the realities of what raising a child entails it would BLOW your mind.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:07 am
Yea, turn on that teen mom show for a minute…yikes. I’m not sure what my whole point was. I guess that when whats done is done, its not time to say what shouldve been done in the past, but give some support for them for the future.
CatsMeow March 2, 2012, 12:31 pm
For this particluar LW, yes. What’s done is done and there’s no point in beating her up over it.
But maybe, just maybe, someone else out there is reading this thread, and they will think twice before making a similar mistake.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 12:40 pm
Very true. I will tell you my younger sisters are extremely cautious because they have seen it happen first hand-to me. For that, I’m very grateful.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:03 am
Also, you say its not that hard to not get pregnant. You are totally correct in this. All it usually takes is a simple little pill or shot or condom, whatever. Its equally hard to not be a dumb, immature girl who isn’t thinking. To us, mature, smart, educated older women, it seems so easy and obvious. To a girl who think “it’ll never happen to me,” maybe not so obvious. I can truly say I never thought that would happen to me. Somedays, I still can’t believe it did. Even knowing that I was having unprotected sex.
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 11:11 am
Yeah, I guess I have a mental disconnect in that regard. I mean, I’m 23 (an age where a lot of my peers are still not thinking it will happen to them…or worse, are getting pregnant on purpose), and I just can’t understand why people don’t realize the reality of it. At 18, I was thinking that way, too! I don’t mean for it to make me un-empathetic, but as Iwannatalktosampson AKA foreveryoung said, I really don’t think some of these girls *think* there’s anything dumb or ill-planned about their situation. Like she said, I’ve also seen plenty of teen or young moms have NO IDEA what raising a baby will mean for their lives when they get pregnant.
JK March 2, 2012, 11:13 am
Not just young mums, my friend that is pulling this same thing is 33!
Caris March 2, 2012, 11:39 am
I’ve pretty much always thought that way, I’d never have sex with anyone unless I’m using 2 forms of protection because I am terrified of getting pregnant. When I told my friends this, they looked at me like I was an alien and said how they don’t even think about it. They use protection, but they don’t think about the possibility of getting pregnant. Three of them are not sure if they did (they took the morning after pill immediately) get pregnant. They were with their bf’s and for some reason decided to have sex without a condom and where not yet on the pill. (I know that 1 was convinced by her bf to have sex with no condom because he didn’t like wearing condoms, and the other one thought it was a good idea to do some of it without a condom and then use it like right before her bf was about to come, and it ended up with the bf finishing unexpectedly ….
Brad March 2, 2012, 12:24 pm
Regina, it’s because many teenagers and young 20’s simply don’t think about consequences very much. It’s a mindset I don’t understand as I’ve always been sensitive of potential consquences, but my brother isn’t. He’s gotten into a lot of trouble (thankfully not with the law but he drove home drunk once so he’s lucky) because he doesn’t think past the next 10 minutes most of the time.
savannah March 2, 2012, 2:31 pm
I had to laugh when you said ‘It’s a mindset I don’t understand’ because it actually is a mindset physically. The prefrontal cortex, the place in our brains where we make risk assessments, judgements calls etc. is the last part of the brian to fully develop, sometime around age 23-25. You can have an awareness about consequences at an earlier age before hand but when you say he doesn’t think past the next 10 minutes, he’s really not processing, thinking in a physical way. unless he’s 30 or something, then I don’t have a bio excuse for him.
JK March 2, 2012, 11:09 am
There are also a lot of people that do it on purpose (for attention or whatever), I´m going through this now with a “friend” (I´ve been posting about in one of the forum threads).
I know accidents do happen, but this LW seems to be too not worried about the whole pregnancy thing!
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:19 am
Yes, I’ve been following that thread.
There certainly is a huge difference between it being an accident or planned. I was speaking more toward a true accident.
Rangerchic March 2, 2012, 11:21 am
That is the biggest issues with teenagers…thinking nothing bad will ever happen to them. Until it does. I was 18 when I got pregnant. I was on the pill but not taking it every day like you’re supposed to do. I was dumb. I knew it when I got pregnant how stupid it was but before getting pregnant I never really thought about it. At all.
I don’t know how old the couple is in LW1 but they still sound so young. They are going to have some tough times and I hope they can truly communicate and start working things out now instead of waiting….because there will be issues.
lets_be_honest March 2, 2012, 11:24 am
You said it better than I did. Its a matter of being “untouchable” when you are that age. I don’t think anyone ever thinks that will happen to them, even when they could be having unprotected sex on a daily basis.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 11:11 am
I definitely agree with you, and I’ve seen it workout, and the people get married, and have a great relationship after, but I’ve also seen the worst of it too. I just want LW1 to realize that just because they are having this baby together, doesn’t mean they need to rush things, she still needs to find out who this guy is, and if he is right for her.
ReginaRey March 2, 2012, 11:24 am
Totally agree, Bagge. I think a lot of people (not so much anymore, which is good) feel pressure (likely from family) to get married when there’s an accidental or even planned “out of wedlock” pregnancy. I’ve made clear to both of the serious boyfriends I’ve had that if I were to get accidentally pregnant, we would NOT be getting married. Just because I’m having a baby (one HUGE responsibility) doesn’t mean I need to hastily add on another HUGE responsibility (marriage) at the same time. I still think it’s incredibly important to let the relationship play out…and not to stay together “for the sake” of a child, if it becomes clear over time that the relationship isn’t right.
kerrycontrary March 5, 2012, 4:26 pm
So true. If I got pregnant with my current boyfriend I would marry him because it’s something that we’ve planned to do eventually, but there are definitely boyfriend’s I wouldn’t have married. We would’ve ended up divorced 6 months later! I would rather be a single mom than divorced by 24 (not judging anyone who is, we all make mistakes).
angelsiris11 March 2, 2012, 2:09 pm
Thank you for this comment RR.
I am very involved in supporting the access to contraceptives & comprehensive sex education movements and I am shocked everyday about how ignorant (willfully or not) make themselves to the reality of how easy it is to get pregnant without birth control and how simple it is to prevent pregnancies. It really disheartens me to see people so ignorant to this because many times the consequence is children born into situations that are simply not good for them.
And yes, it’s true that lower socioeconomic classes or having a teen mother will increase the likelihood that a person will not know or have access to all the forms of birth control. And that is understandable, especially due to the political fighting that occurs that keeps certain populations from understanding their options.
However, what shocks me the most is the ignorance that I see in EDUCATED (both college & graduate school) men & women about birth control. Women who at 21 have never been to the gyno, just because they think it’s weird. Or not bothering to use the internet to which they definitely have 24/7 access to research birth control options. To me that screams willful ignorance and greater chances of unplanned pregnancies. And I will never understand it….
I know there are so many factors that play into the way our culture discusses sex and contraception and these recent political fights are not making me optimistic for more reasoned discussions in our future.
I don’t know where exactly I was going with this, except for saying thanks for saying what I ALWAYS want to say in these situations. Makes me feel a lot less judgmental.
savannah March 2, 2012, 2:35 pm
I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of what you are saying–just you don’t have to go to the gyno until you are 21 or 3 years from when you started having sex, at least those are PP recommendations so I don’t think its a sign of being irresponsible about your health or education.
angelsiris11 March 2, 2012, 3:14 pm
I absolutely agree you with you. I should clarify that women I was thinking about had been having sex since they were 15. Most of the time without birth control. Or no plan to visit the gyno to discuss the possibility of being on it. Sigh.
caitie_didnt March 3, 2012, 3:33 pm
Can somebody explain to me a little bit about how this whole gynecologist thing works in the US?? I live in Ontario, and I get my yearly physicals done by a GP (family doctor). That includes pap, STD testing and birth control prescription. The ONLY reason I’d ever see an OB/Gyn is if my regular doctor was concerned about something or if I was trying to conceive/pregnant….I actually don’t think I could make an appointment with an OB/Gyn by myself; I’d probably need a referral.
But whenever I read anything about reproductive health care in the US, it’s always about how women need to see gyns every year etc etc. So do family doctors in the states not do pap testing/ reproductive health? I am very curious to know how this differs between countries!
Addie Pray March 2, 2012, 10:48 am
LW1 – I love cuddling with dogs but I like clean beds more. Once I jumped in Lake Michigan then crawled into bed and it took f.o.r.fucking.e.v.e.r. to get every last particle of sand out. I mean, even after changing and washing the sheets over and over again, sand would somehow appear. I don’t know where I am going with this. Except to say, yea, put your foot down on this one.
LW2 – I could see myself marrying someone after only a couple of months. I know it wouldn’t be a wise decision but I often make spontaneous, not-so-wise decisions, and I get blinded by “love” bla bla bla. But do what Wendy said. Go see a divorce attorney. Like, now.
LW3 – I don’t understand why you can’t go to HR? There are so many reasons. 1) To protect yourself. It’s important to raise issues with HR as they arrise – it’s more believable that way. As opposed to raising them when you get fired – your motives will be questioned. 2) To protect others. If you feel this way, I’m sure others do too, and others probably have complained. If you complain, it will give the company more motivation to do something about it. I understand he’s a big shot and whatnot, but when the company gets fired and they found out there were 1,000 complaints about him but the company did nothing, the company is going to be in big, big trouble. 3) It might actually help you. They could reassign you or do something else to fix this problem. Think about it: you could actually find yourself in a work environment that you like and that does *not* make you cry. How awesome does that sound?!
Addie Pray March 2, 2012, 10:50 am
Re: LW2, meant to say “when the company gets sued (ie, when someone sues the company for this big shot’s conduct,” not “when the company gets fired” …
Caris March 2, 2012, 11:28 am
sand is a bitch lol, once it gets somewhere its impossible to get rid of it 😀
FireStar March 2, 2012, 12:10 pm
I agree with Addie LW3 – you shouldn’t have to put up with a toxic environment just because your boss is a bully. Even if the company doesn’t want to touch a rainmaker – they can still do things to improve your working environment. If you don’t want to go to HR (and I totally think you should) start documenting the abuse – even consult an attorney – because when the day comes for you to leave, don’t leave empty handed.
Di March 2, 2012, 10:54 am
LW3: After two layoffs since I graduated from college two years ago, I took a new job at a marketing agency. Somehow, I ended up with a boss who was six months out of college and not even 23. The guy used to keep me late at work doing his spreadsheets, manually filling in form letters, etc (he’d peace out at five thirty, after satisfying some conference calls and playing on Youtube for the remainder of the day) … often until 8 at night, and it’d be just me and the cleaning crew at the office. Then I’d come in the next day, only to find out that our client had a change, and the 2 hours I was made to stay late were a waste. It happened a LOT. There were some other factors in there, but the stress got really terrible.
What’s the purpose of that anecdote? My girl friends had been trying to convince me to go to kickboxing with them for months. I finally took them up on it. It is AWESOME letting that aggression out. Nothing like jabbing and hooking a bag for an hour straight, with the perks of burning 500 or so calories. Almost a year later, I’ve probably dropped about 25 pounds in the process, too. Punching AND toning up – that’s a stress reliever that your boss won’t be able to touch.
applescruff March 2, 2012, 11:39 am
LW3, if you feel like you’re about to cry and it’s not the right place to do it, try looking straight up at the ceiling. Sometimes it can stop things before they really get going.
Budj March 2, 2012, 11:41 am
While playing “The Final Countdown” in your head.
bagge72 March 2, 2012, 12:57 pm
I was actually singing that song this morning while getting ready for work, and I have no idea why!
oldie March 2, 2012, 11:46 am
#1 — You moved in to quickly and you got pregnant way to fast. Move out and see if he wants to have the negotiation over living arrangements which the two of you should have had before you moved in together.
#2 — You aren’t his wife, you’re his mother. You married an unemployed man, whom you supported, and allowed him to get away without doing any housework? Get counseling to find out why you wanted a totally feckless grown up child. Likely he moved out of his parents’ home, when his mother told him he’d have to clean his own room and do his own laundry.
#3 — I think your boss enjoys seeing you cry. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Do talk to HR. Do start looking for a new job.
landygirl March 2, 2012, 1:07 pm
All I see from the first two letters are women who jumped into relationships before they truly knew the men. LW1 said “I recently started dating this guy” and she’s already pregnant with a “peanut”. LW2 said she barely knew the guy before they got married and now she wants a divorce after less than a year. I hate to be harsh but people need to start thinking before they make such life changing decisions. You should know someone throroughly before you make such a huge committment. Things go wrong and then they wonder why. I’ll tell you why, because you’re not thinking.
Sorry, I’m totally crabby today and those LWs rubbed me the wrong way.
oldie March 2, 2012, 7:41 pm
Not at all sure it’s crabbiness. They reak of an uncomfortable level of desperation and willingness to settle with whatever crippled bird is in hand. As for the porn addict, I’m going to guess that he’s into gay porn. Porn is supposed to rouse you up sexually. To watch porn and ignore readily available sex for months seems a little strange, unless your interests lie in a totally different direction.
Leroy March 2, 2012, 1:14 pm
I just want to know where all these women who’ll marry unemployed porn addicts are coming from – not that I’m an unemployed porn addict. Because in my world, you’d be lucky to get a date w/o having a job, much less have some woman marry and support you.
Lili March 2, 2012, 8:15 pm
Move. Or lower your standards Leroy 😉 Amirite?!
kittyk March 2, 2012, 1:32 pm
Hmm these are super relatable today. The dog in the bed question has been ongoing since we got our puppy in November. I was dead set against another pet in bed (2 cats that are impossible to keep out) for so many reasons- pet hair everywhere, invades our sexy time, etc but within a few weeks I was outnumbered 2 to 1 (BF & Puppy v me).
I tried once to kick the pup out and he just sat there in the doorway with his big sad puppy eyes and I completely caved and he’s slept in bed ever since! Oi vay! I still get irritated with the dog hair but keeping the bed made and only allowing him on the top layer has helped with that a bit at least. I still wash the bedding 3x as much though…
To the LW though, I don’t think it is unreasonable to not want the dogs in the bed, especially now with the pregnancy. I would probably be a bit offended if a new SO came in and kicked out my pets too, cause hey they were there way before you- but a mature person should be able to compromise without it being a big deal. The dog will be just fine on his own doggy bed. Maybe try a different approach to the conversation?
Lamia March 2, 2012, 2:29 pm
Great advice for LW3 Wendy. In fact, it’s perfect timing for me. I’m going to take your advice and sign up at a gym and exercise it out!
Fabelle March 2, 2012, 2:53 pm
I like how out of all of these, the dog questions is the most controversial– personally, I don’t see what the big deal is or why it’s even an all-or-nothing situation? I guess dogs are different, but I’ve always had cats & they obviously get let out when sex is about to happen. And if they’re being obnoxious (won’t lie still, etc.) they go out as well. I’ve also slept over a guy’s house whose tiny dog slept in bed with him & I just put the thing on the floor instead (nicely! I’m not fond of little dogs, but it was cute. In the bed, though…no)
Basically, I guess my point is that neither one of them needs to be so militant about it– she shouldn’t tell him “THEY GO OR I GO!” BUT he alsooo shouldn’t be like “THIS IS PRINCE AND FLUFFY’S BED TOO!”
deejay March 3, 2012, 6:54 am
Manage crying by remembering to breathe through the anxiety as it builds up. You should be able to stave it off until you’re out of the room. As a bonus, he may stop, because it’s possible he gets his kicks by breaking you.
meaghan March 3, 2012, 11:00 am
I have two very large dogs that I love as if they were children. I was there when they were sick, hurt, and they were there when I was depressed and lonely. I have come home to them every day for the past three years, and both used to sleep in my bed until my husband came along. He wasn’t happy about them sleeping with me because of the hair (my Dane sheds a lot) or the fact that both boys wanted to be near me ay all times. Two years later the Dane still sleeps with me on occasion when my husband is on duty, and honestly I clean so much its not that much of a problem. One thing I didn’t see put on the comments above; if the dog sheds there will br hair everywhere regardless of if the dog goes on the furniture or not. The baby will be (and should be) exposed anyway, and in my opinion should be on a crib anyway.
Le: get a nice bed for the dog. Not some cheap crap, but a legit awesome before so your bf doesn’t feel bad. And try to respect his hid feelings. My husband never had his own dog so he had no clue about the bond I had with NY boys. Years later he’s learned and spoils them like I do. I also want to point out; you’re cat is as much of a danger to the baby. They like warm things to sleep with and you should be careful of it getting too close to the baby and smothering it.
Sara March 4, 2012, 1:42 pm
LW3, I’m glad that you have taken Wendy’s advice and that a new job offer has made you feel more in control. Exercise has helped me, too. Here’s something else that has helped me feel more in control: I have a (mental) list of things I have done well– a list of things that shouldn’t be criticized. For example, I don’t get most grants I’ve apply for, but I have gotten a couple. When I feel like I’m not good enough because my research isn’t funded, I remember that I have gotten funding before, and I can get it again. It can be tough to move forward when I feel like nothing I do is good enough, but remembering that I do bring “good enough” things to the table helps me to keep moving forward instead of sitting in my office and crying when I’m not “perfect.”